Dust, Winter and Refuge: Environmentalism and Nuclear Literature

  • Daniel Cordle


Nuclear literature of the 1980s is frequently an environmentalist literature, partly because environmentalists were key in shaping people’s understanding of the impact of nuclear technology. This chapter focuses on three key environmental images in nuclear literature—dust, winter and refuge—to argue that there was a concerted attempt to rethink the relations between humans, nature and technology. The dust of radioactive fallout, and the horrific predictions that “nuclear winter” would follow nuclear war, both feature prominently in nuclear fiction. Using these concerns to explore how the planet is changed by a human presence, the literature also redefines concepts of “refuge”, thinking of it less as a space in which to hide than as a new mindset for the nuclear age.


Nuclear Weapon Nuclear Technology Great Salt Lake Radioactive Fallout Bomb Test 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel Cordle
    • 1
  1. 1.Nottingham Trent UniversityNottinghamUnited Kingdom

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